Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bound No Longer: In Celebration of African America History Month

Originally posted February 2013

Guest Post:
In celebration of African American History Month join This Woman's Words in welcoming Los Angeles based composer, musician, lyricist and performer John McConnell of ProLyric Productions and John McConnell Music as our guest today.  Please leave your comments below:

Every time I think about ‘Black History Month’, I consider why there is such a thing.  For a long while I thought it was counter-productive – a form of reverse discrimination for people of color to perpetuate the individuality of setting aside an entire month to say, “Hey –focus on our accomplishments”.  The image I’ve always associated with this month is one of enslaved black people in chains and fetters. As an African American I’ve grown to understand just how significant and necessary this month really is.  As we share with the world the many reasons why we’re valuable, we simultaneously rid ourselves of slave clothes (negative labels).  To have an inferiority complex derives from every word, image, and practice that makes one feel that being truly happy is not a right they should enjoy.  Such bondage can and has caused many people to live out an existence of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, but never forging ahead as trailblazers.

I moved to Los Angeles from HoustonTexas ... to follow a passion I’ve had in my heart for many years.  I am a singer/songwriter who enjoys being on stage, but even bigger – for many years now, it’s been my dream for my songs to be in movies.  I’ve always loved how producers use songs to help a dramatic scene become truly dramatic.  Everyday, I purpose to write a new song that inspires all the positive things in life (love, joy, friendship, etc.).  I never run out of words, because that’s the beauty of being human – our words.  But how does a forty-five year old man break into an industry that is completely foreign to him and experience the success of watching feature films with his songs playing as the credits are rolling?  He defies anything poised as a barrier, and yes that includes every negative stereotype concerning his culture.

It’s not just a “black thing” to be told you’re not good enough.  People will always be in competition with each other.  I celebrate victory already, because I’m on the path.  Talking about the path is one thing, but to actually walk it out is what I call victory.  This journey may not be quick, but for me it’s necessary.  I no longer live by labels attached to me, but each day I decide for myself who I am.  If my example can give young black kids an excuse to defy the odds and follow their passions, then by all means I think it’s ok for me to say, Hey – focus on my accomplishments”.

John McConnell is an expert singer/songwriter.  His music weaves R&B, modern rock, hip-hop, pop jazz, and traditional gospel into a seamless fabric.  John founded ProLyric Productions in 2000—a songwriting company of positive, pro-social lyrics. In December of 2007, God impressed upon John to commit to writing an entire song everyday.  John has remained consistent and faithful to this task, and now (almost five years later) has catalogued over 1,600 songs.  ProLyric Productions submits songs for a variety of occasions, all across the United States.  The goal of this venture is for recording artists of all genres to record music written by John McConnell, and for that music to flood the airwaves EVERYWHERE.  It is John’s desire to receive  film and television licensing opportunities for his songs.
John moved to Hollywood, CA to pursue his passion more intently.  You can view at least 114 of Johns songs on You Tube by subscribing to his music channel: ‘John McConnell Music’.  You can also learn more about him by visiting
Contact John McConnell at
Follow John McConnell on Twitter: @ProLyricMusic
Connect on Facebook: ProLyric Productions
Subscribe to YouTube: John McConnell Music

Monday, October 21, 2013

Affordable Care Act: Get the Facts Before You Speak!

Get the facts about the Affordable Care Act directly from the source.  Before you sit around the office lunch room and share horror stories that you’ve heard on your favorite television station, get the facts directly from the source.  Before you start speaking loud and wrong in the line at the grocery store, get the facts directly from the source.
If you are reading and comprehending this blog post, you can read and comprehend the information available on the official website.

There is so much misinformation on the web, on main stream media and on social media about the Affordable Care Act, that I do have at least a little patience for those who are struggling with finding the truth. But some of what I am hearing and reading is just downright mean-spirited.  Change is hard.  But we are Americans, and we can get through this.

I want all children to have access to affordable health care. I want those who are unemployed because of layoffs or medical problems and those with other special circumstances to have access to health care.  I understand that prevention costs less than medical intervention.  I vote.

As our President said earlier today, the fight to provide affordable health care for all Americans was not simply about a website.  We can not allow a website to defeat us.
"But we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website," Obama said. "We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans, in the wealthiest nation on earth, finally have the same chance to get the same security of quality, affordable health care as anybody else."

Let’s be patient and supportive and allow the process to work.


Photo courtesy of AP

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Texas Pastor Bans Hair Weaves....

Texas pastor bans hair weaves by members. 
Today I’m concerned about an article that has been featured on television, radio, on blogs and all over the internet.  It’s the story of Pastor A.J. Amir of Resurrecting Faith Church in Waco, Texas.  The pastor of the church has made headlines because he has banned the wearing of hair weaves by members of his church. 

There are so very many issues that Pastor Amir could choose to address in his church that I am actually surprised he has time to worry about the condition of his member’s hair.  He indicates that his church members are struggling financially.  What programs does he have in place at Resurrecting Faith Church to increase financial literacy? Does he have job placement assistance or career guidance support at the church?  If he is questioning the parenting choices made by his parishioners, does he have a parenting skills class available to address his concern? quotes Pastor Amir:
“I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. “Yet, a 26 year old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this.”

As a woman, I know that there are any number reasons we may choose to wear hair weaves… hair loss due to medication, stress or illness, convenience due to a demanding schedule, consistency in professional appearance, to achieve a desired look or simply because we feel like doing something different.

It’s his church, he can make the rules as he deems appropriate.  As women, and as Americans, we have the right to choose to worship elsewhere if we don’t agree.

Don’t look for This Woman's Words on Sunday, Pastor Amir.

Do you think Pastor Amir is right to use his platform to focus on hair when there are other issues to be addressed in his community?

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Photo courtesy of RubyRuby

Monday, August 12, 2013

Power From Within: Heal your OWN self

Guest Post:
Join This Woman's Words as welcome Susie Shantina Dixon of The Chronicles of Jaded Kisses!

Why are we so apt to taking the bad but being terrified to receive the good and perfect will of that which is Eternal? Why is there a need to be justified by someone who has no clue what you look like outside of your girdle and makeup let alone have your best interests at heart? Why do we stay in relationships that are killing us with every negative word spoken? WHY?
These and other questions go thru the mind of at least one person who just wanted to do better but LIfe kept getting the best of them. LIFE and all the things that come with her nasty self just kept beating you down until NOW. Until you meet someone that said "Here. I see you trying. Let me show you the way. Now I can't walk it out for you but what I can do is show you that life can be as beautiful as any words that you speak." Now on that same token , life can be bad only if you persist in calling that thang forward. They used to say whatever dog you keep calling, will come to you. With that in mind, how do we get from looking down to seeing that there is a bright better future ahead of you baby. Just keep moving... Just keep getting up every day with a song, beat box or whatever gets you in a happy mood. Keep your happiness close to heart and always on your mind.
 My FAVE 5 Things to keep me going:

  • Determination -  You can only go as far as your determination. NUFF SAID
  •  Persistence - For every time someone tries to hold you down, you have to keep pushing and going until you prove to yourself (NOT THEM) that you can. Once you accomplished, that there is nothing to stop you from doing anything because now you know it's possible.
  • Hope- You can't even live in THIS life without some kind of hope. You gotta have it. Without a glitter of hope life will eat you alive and you will struggle. But with hope anything is possible. As long as Beyonce and all these other beautiful people roam the Earth, Hope will forever be alive. You know there are some people who have no hope of getting them but they always hope. They stand in their hopes unshakable. So WHY NOT have hope that I can be and do WHATEVER I WANT!!  Yes!! I love hope because you made up your mind to see whatever it id that you are hoping for. 
  • Hard Work- Ya girl is not afraid to get down and ugly for what I want. SO one day I never have to get dirty a day in my future, if I choose not too. 
  • Support!!! No man is an island. We all need a positive somebody that lets us be us and listens. ALL that is important. As human beings, we are built to take care of others. We do it so well that we forget about ourselves in the process. Take an hour daily to do something for yourself. It's very hard to give out to someone else when your own internal supply is bare and empty.

In closing, be good to yourself, even if no one else does because the right people are waiting for you. You have all the power, strength and courage you need to change your life from anything that happened in yesterday or yesteryear.. You deserve to be happy. You deserve great health and great wealth!!!


Bio: Susie Dixon is a local fashion designer, image consultant,social media maven. She is the mother of 3 beautiful girls. She and her husband will be married for 5 years in May. They reside in Houston, Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, reading, thrifting, and blogging. As a blogger, she likes to take her readers on a journey with her as she goes to different events, tries out the latest trends and designs new garments. She began to design when she grew tired of ill fitting clothes and couldn’t always afford to use a tailor. Designing lets her to be as classic and creative as her imagination allows.
Connect with Tina Dixon:
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What keeps you going when faced with adversity? 

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Passion for Fashion: Espre Dekor

I had a great conversation on This Woman's Words radio with the co-founders of Espre Dekor Fashion and Events.  Deniece Allen and CJ Johnson have found the key to forging a long lasting partnership.  They have a mutual respect for what each of them bring to the business to make it successful.  
Espre Dekor provides a platform for those up and coming in the fashion industry to showcase their talents.  Deniece and CJ have a passion for fashion that is evident throughout our conversation.

Click HERE to listen to Espre Dekor on This Woman's Words radio.

Are you following us on Twitter? @womanswords2

Friday, June 28, 2013

Stand with Wendy and Watch Paula, Trayvon, the Supreme Court and Texas

As a woman and certified news junkie, I’ve got to tell you… I am on overload this week.  There has been so much happening this week that it’s impacting my sleeping patterns.  I stayed awake with most of the nation to watch Wendy Davis stand up for women’s health.  Wendy Davis, prior to this week was a little known senator from Texas.  Her bold actions this week place her in the national arena.  Standing in her pink athletic shoes, this teen mom staged a filibuster for a bill known as SB5, that would have effectively shut down most clinics in the state that perform abortions.  Texas covers quite a bit of territory.  Women living in rural areas of the state, could be without access to the option of choosing abortion.  The fight is not over.  Governor Rick Perry has ordered a second special session to address the bill in part because Ms. Davis "...hasn't learned from her own example".  

Paula Deen continues to wade through her troubles.  It is important to understand that as a public figure everything you do and have done becomes fodder for the press.  In the past week Paula has seen a large part of her vast empire fall.  I will be watching along with the rest of the public to see how her journey unfolds.
The nation has all eyes on the Trayvon Martin trial.  The trial opened with "knock-knock" jokes!  It is my hope that the attorneys in this case take every opportunity to show the American public that the criminal justice system truly has the ability to be fair. 

As a proud native Texan, I have been keeping an eye on the affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas.  In 2008 a young woman from the small town of Sugar Land, Texas filed a claim that the University of Texas at Austin discriminated against her after she was denied admission.  In its efforts to ensure diversity in the admissions process, race is one of the factors considered.  The Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court for further review.  Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a world where there was no need for government enforced equality?

This week I also witnessed something that I found to be of great concern.  In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court effectively struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965.   There are some who say that the time has come to remove the protections that the act provided.  There are others who have a sense of how the change will impact voters access to the polls.  Texas wasted no time in implementing a law that requires voters to show identification in order to cast their ballots.  There is no longer the need for states to have federal approval to redistrict maps.  This can be significant as we see the demographics changing and interest in voting increasing in the state.  Texas is losing its conservative grip on politics and partisan gerrymandering may now be seen as a last chance option.

I will be watching these and other stories in the headlines.  What are your thoughts on the stories making headlines?

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Photo courtesy of Outside The Beltway

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why Do We Need Father's?

I was raised in a large city in the southern part of the United States by a single mother.  I am one of hundreds of thousands of women who are part of the same reality.  We survived.  Some of us even thrived.  We are okay. We are doing fine.  We are able to have stable, balanced personal and professional relationships.

I can't say that I missed out on alot because my father was absent.  There is an old saying, "You don't miss what you never had." I never had a father figure in my life, so other than what I witnessed on television, I didn't really know what that "magic thing" was that society insists I missed by his absence.    Television was simply theater, fantasy.  There was really no programming on television at that time that reflected any of my real world realities.  Although I enjoyed them, I had no connection to "Family Ties" or "The Jeffersons".

Father's are absent from their children's lives for any number of reasons... divorce, military duties, work abroad, prison, death or simply an inability to connect and bond. No matter the reason, absent is absent.  

If there is no father in the home, should women go out of their way to provide a father figure for their child?  

Join This Woman's Words radio on Father's Day at 5:30 PM CST as we welcome Psychotherapist Tom Stevens, LPC-S, RPT to discuss the question "Why Do We Need Father's?"

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Houston's Own Grammy Winner: Yolanda Adams

Be sure to follow This Woman's Words to watch my one-on-one interview with Houston's award winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams.  

Yolanda recently launched a bath and body line.   I had the opportunity to talk to the native Houstonian about the products, her motivation for creating it, how she remains relevant in today's entertainment industry and her words of wisdom to young women in the industry today.  

You don't want to miss this.
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Friday, May 31, 2013

What's Going On With Your Hair???

On This Woman's Words radio I  had the opportunity to interview the co-founders of Naturally Happy Hair Magazine recently.  Our conversation brought out some issues that we as women really need to examine.

As women, why do we focus so much on our hair?  I have to include myself in this need to self examine.  If we have a "bad hair day" our entire day can be lost.  

If we have curly hair, we want straight hair.  If we have straight hair, we wish and pray to wake up one morning with curly hair.  If our hair is brown, we want it blond.  If it's black, we wish we were a redhead.  

Should we stop fighting the natural tendencies of our hair and simply 'go natural'? Is it time to empower ourselves to embrace our hair just the way it is and have Naturally Happy Hair?

Check out the conversation by Clicking Here.

Please leave your comments below:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Why I Will Run Boston Again: Marathon Survivor Lynda Nijensohn

Join This Woman's Words radio as we welcome Boston Marathon survivor and breast cancer survivor Lynda Nijensohn to the show.  Lynda will be our featured guest on Sunday May 19th at 5:30 PM central standard time.

Lynda and her father John Cowin,65, of Leesburg, Fla., are part of the history of a moment in time where Americans came together and showed heroic strength of character and faith.  Lynda ran in the Boston Marathon to support breast cancer survivors.  Her father John who was there to support her, is what I will call an American hero.  In the face of adversity he did not hesitate.  He immediately swung in to action to save American lives.  

Listen to my interview with Lynda Nijensohn live on Sunday May 19th at 5:30 PM CST or on podcast anytime by Clicking Here.  

I'd love to have you to call in to join the conversation at 714.464.4854. 

Please leave your comments below:

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